BlackBerry aka the former Research in Motion limited (RIM) announced its new BlackBerry 10 OS and two new smartphones yesterday.
The company released two new smartphones the BlackBerry Z10 and the Q10 and also highlighted the key features of the new BlackBerry 10 OS.
Here’s a quick look at what’s new in the BlackBerry universe:
Goodbye RIM, hello BlackBerry: As CEO Thorsten Heins emphasised, “We are BlackBerry every where in the world,” the company has clearly decided to consolidate its BlackBerry brand name by ditching the old RIM.
The company will also be changing it trading logos and will now be known as BBRY on Nasdaq stock exchange.
The Z10: This is the full touch-screen smartphone by BlackBerry. It has a 4.2-inch LCD screen with a 1280 x 768 screen resolution and that comes to 356 pixel per inch. The phone is powered by a dual-core CPU clocked to 1.5GHz with 2GB RAM but BlackBerry has not specified which processor it is using.The smartphone has 16 GB mass memory but this can be increased with microSD card. The maximum limit for the microSD card is 32GB.
It has an eight megapixel rear camera with 1080 pixel video-recording capacity and a two megapixel camera with 720 pixel video-recording. The smartphone also has Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth 4.0, NFC support.
The Z10 will be out in the UK today, in Canada on 5 February and in the US in March. Prices will vary by carrier, but they will be around $150 with a three-year service contract in Canada.
The BlackBerry Q10 This model has 3.1-inch AMOLED touchscreen and a QWERTY keyboard. It also has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 2GB of RAM and 16GB mass memory. The device will support LTE. The release date and price for this has not been revealed although it could be out by April.
BlackBerry 10 OS: Both the new devices are running BlackBerry’s new OS. Here’s a quick look at some new features of the OS.
BlackBerry Social Hub: The social hub is BlackBerry’s way of combining social networking and work all into one place. Users can manage all their social settings from this such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc in this Social Hub.
Users can just slide to the right to go to the Hub and manage all their notifications from within this without having to open separate apps for each of the services.
BlackBerry Messenger: The new BlackBerry Messenger in BB 10 comes with the option of video-calling as well. BB messenger remains one of the most secure messaging services and with the option of video calling, hard-core BB users have another good reason to stay on.
BlackBerry also introduced a feature called Screen Share which allows users to share their screens with one another while in the middle of a video call. Users can share pics, documents, books, spreadsheets, etc all in real-time. The real-time sharing of screens would appeal to the corporate users who need to share their files, presentations etc.
BlackBerry Balance: Balance lets users split their phone for both work and personal uses. This feature will allow users to switch modes with a gesture on the homescreen. You can divide work apps from personal apps. From the view of a corporate user who has both personal and work related information, this feature allows them to have a lot more control over their smartphone. Balance will also allow them to have some fun on their smartphone without worrying about IT admins accessing their content.
Typing on the BlackBerry: The BlackBerry now emphasises on typing with one thumb, with gestures and the ability to delete with a thumb swipe anywhere. Users can just flip between words, or simply swipe. The keyboard also has built-in multi-language support that’s accessible with a gesture and the phone will recognise when users switch languages in the middle of the email, again a move aimed at markets like India.
BlackBerry Story Maker Users can build slideshows with music, transitions, captions, photos and video right on their device itself. You can aggregate video and music content into one stream with this
BlackBerry World: This BlackBerry’s new app store. It will launch with a collection of TV shows, music, movies and according to CEO Heins 8 major studios have signed up for this to provide content for users. It will give BlackBerry consumers the option to buy TV shows, music and movies from BlackBerry World.
BlackBerry states that the store already has over 70,000 apps for this and all of the 1000 top apps from Android and iOS are on the new BlackBerry World.
The Camera: BlackBerry Z10’s camera comes with a Time Shift option to edit a photo in case someone blinked while you took it. It also has a built in photo editor for tweaking images. Editing is again gesture based.